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A forgotten Shah Rukh-starrer versus 'Masti'
Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Coming up this week is a film starring Shah Rukh Khan whose shooting was stopped a decade ago.
"Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke", which is being released right ahead of his "Main Hoon Na", might make Shah Rukh Khan wince in horror.
But Bollywood is all about the survival of the freakiest. To even dream of releasing a film that stopped shooting a decade ago and was then revived with a different star cast is outrageous.
What probably remains is a hotchpotch of the very old and the very juvenile slapped on for the sake of making a fast buck.
For those who are interested in the background, "Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke" was originally a film called "Jadoo". It was launched approximately a decade ago with much fanfare.
After a week's shooting, both Shah Rukh Khan and leading lady Raveena Tandon never returned to the film.
Says Raveena: "I don't even remember what it was all about. Now with my marriage and the serial 'Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam' on air, this is the last thing I need."
So how's the film being released now? Producer Ritesh Nayyar could provide some answers.
Both Raveena and Shah Rukh, last seen together in Ramesh Sippy's massive flop "Zamana Deewana", have dissociated themselves completely from the film.
No such problem with this week's other release, the laugh riot "Masti", about three friends looking for excitement outside their marriage.
Director Indra Kumar's laugh-fest features an all-star cast spearheaded by the dependable Ajay Devgan and Vivek Oberoi.
After the sudden flush of success last week with the unlikely hit "Murder", the film industry is looking at "Masti" with its adultery-as-fun mood as the perfect foil to the erotic excursion last week.
Essentially all cinematic experiences in Bollywood are targeted at family audience...Or so it was believed until the plus-18 "Murder" broke box office records in its opening weekend.
Now the family audience theory lies a little shaken.
Says Patna exhibitor Suman Sinha: "The opening has taken the entire trade aback. Just last week, another similar film 'Hawas' nose-dived.
"But 'Murder' opened in my theatre with huge crowds clamouring to get in. It's made Mallika Sherawat an overnight star."
Mallika is currently on a three-city tour of Delhi, Lucknow and Kanpur. Everywhere she's being mobbed.
In the light of "Murder's" success, "Masti" seems in-demand. Like "Murder", "Masti" too is a film on adultery, though this time it's the men who get an extra-marital itch.
An earlier comedy on adultery, B.R. Chopra's "Pati Patni Aur Woh" in 1978, was a hit.
Will "Masti" multiply on the "Murder" success? Or will Mallika Sherawat continue to rule the roost at the cost of some of the biggest names of Bollywood in "Masti"? Not to mention Shah Rukh Khan in a film he would rather forget.